Psychic Awakening: Deathwatch
Across the run of the Psychic Awakening books, almost every Warhammer 40,000 faction has had its time in the spotlight as the narrative of a galaxy in turmoil has encompassed them. As well as the story, each faction has received rules updates to give you more options on the battlefield.
Two factions – the Deathwatch and the Harlequins – aren’t in the books, but remain forces to be reckoned with. As such, they’re getting new rules like everyone else, but in their case across two issues of White Dwarf. First up are the xenos-hunting Space Marines of the Deathwatch, coming your way in White Dwarf 453. Let’s take a look at what’s coming.
The Imperium’s Elite
This update brings the Deathwatch in line with the rest of their Adeptus Astartes brothers. They gain the Angels of Death suite of abilities, including Shock Assault, Bolter Discipline and Combat Doctrines.
Gaining Combat Doctrines is a big win for the Deathwatch – especially with the additional AP that each of the doctrines gives to various weapons. Coupled with special issue ammunition, this tactical flexibility makes your Deathwatch fearsome opponents indeed. This is only enhanced by their new Stratagems, which are the same ones gained by other Chapters, putting the Deathwatch on par with the rest of their brethren.
Stratagems of the Long Watch
Each of these new options enhances a particular Deathwatch unit in various ways, reflecting their veteran status and elite abilities. Duty Eternal, for example, allows your Dreadnoughts to stride through hails of enemy fire virtually unscathed, while Veteran Fury gives Terminators +1 to hit on all attacks for an entire phase.
Your Intercessors have a trio of Stratagems that give each of their bolt rifles additional abilities. Boltstorm gives auto bolt rifles automatic hits within half range, while Intercessors with stalker bolt rifles can fire at Characters and cause mortal wounds using Target Sighted. Rapid Fire turns bolt rifles into Rapid Fire 2 weapons, doubling the firepower of a squad armed with them – and with Bolter Discipline and the Tactical Doctrine active, this doubles again at close range, for a storm of armour-piercing shots that few foes will survive.
This is just a taster of the 14 Stratagems that will give your Deathwatch a plethora of additional tactical options. Many of them can be further enhanced by the six new Litanies of Battle that Deathwatch Chaplains will have access to. Your close-range bolt rifle volleys will benefit from the +1 to wound that Catechism of Fire provides, or +1 to hit from the Recitation of Focus, while other litanies will allow more reliable charges, enhanced melee ability or even the ability to shrug off mortal wounds.
Finally, the update gives Deathwatch Intercessor Sergeants new weapons options, including hand flamers, power fists and thunder hammers, providing you with loads of new tools to use in purging the xenos from the Imperium!